Mid-Urethral Sling

Procedure for Stress Urinary Incontinence

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Liz shares her experience before and after receiving a mid-urethral sling for her stress urinary incontinence.

A mid-urethral sling is designed to provide a ribbon of support under the urethra to prevent it from dropping during physical activity.



How It Works

A mid-urethral sling system is designed to provide a ribbon of support under the urethra to prevent it from dropping during physical activity, which may include but is not limited to: laughing or lifting.

Providing support that mimics the normal anatomy should prevent urine from leaking or reduce the amount of leakage.


Types of Sling Options

Many surgical options have been developed, the difference being how the mesh material is placed under the urethra. Your doctor will recommend which anchoring location is right for you. As disease state and anatomy differs for each patient, outcomes may vary.

Consult your physician for all available treatment options.

Sling Placement Options

Single Incision Sling Placement


Transobturator Sling Placement


Retropubic Sling Placement



What to Expect

How will my surgery be performed?

Your minimally-invasive sling procedure is estimated to only take 30–45 minutes. Your doctor will determine the type of anesthesia you will have during the procedure. Once the anesthesia takes effect, your doctor will begin the procedure.

A small incision will be made in the vaginal area. Next, the synthetic mesh is placed to create a “sling” of support around the urethra.

When your doctor is satisfied with the position of the mesh, he or she will close and bandage the small incisions in the groin area (if applicable for your sling type) and the top of the vaginal canal.


What should I expect after surgery?

Before your discharge from the hospital, you may be given a prescription for an antibiotic and/or pain medication to relieve any discomfort you may experience. You will be instructed on how to care for your incision area.

Most patients resume moderate activities within 2 to 4 weeks.

At the discretion of your physician, most patients resume moderate activities within 2 to 4 weeks, with no strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks.


When will I stop leaking?

Most women see results right after the procedure. Talk with your physician about what you should expect.

Potential Risks and Complications

As with most surgical procedures, there are potential risks and complications associated with surgery.

Your physician can further explain your specific risks based on your medical history and surgical approach used. Some potential adverse reactions related to surgical correction for stress urinary incontinence include:

  • Pain/Discomfort/Irritation
  • Inflammation (redness, heat, pain, or swelling resulting from surgery), edema (swelling caused by fluid retention) and erythema (redness of the skin)
  • Infection, including abscess
  • Bleeding (vaginal) and hematoma formation (pooling of blood beneath the skin)
  • Mesh erosion (presence of mesh material within the organs surrounding the vagina)
  • Mesh extrusion (presence of mesh materials within the vagina)
  • Fistula formation (a hole/passage that develops between organs or anatomic structures that is repaired by surgery)
  • Foreign body (allergic) reaction to mesh implant
  • Urinary incontinence (involuntary leaking of urine)
  • Urinary retention/obstruction (involuntary storage of urine/blockage of urine flow)
  • Voiding dysfunction (difficulty with urination)
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Wound dehiscence (opening of the incision after surgery)
  • Nerve damage
  • Detrusor stability (involuntary construction of the detrusor muscle while the bladder is filling)
  • Device migration, complete failure of the device
  • Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)
Review complete Risks and Considerations for Mid-Urethral Sling Procedures